Published by Geoff Kelly, Kelly Strategic Influence
Wisdom to lead minds:
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one...the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
George Bernard Shaw
Why Effective Leaders Build their Ideas on The Bedrock of Conviction
There is a common myth among leaders that if they could just see
their way clear of the massive and competing drains on their
attention, energy and time, then they could at last focus on what is
Unfortunately, those who hold to that myth are destined to wallow in it.
They face more choices, more information, more interruptions Ė and more
bad advice Ė than did leaders at any previous time in history. Even if
they are not under 25 and living on Facebook and their Blackberry in
a blizzard of tweets and SMSs, they are thoroughly overwhelmed. And
each year the overwhelm gets worse.
The consequence is that when they articulate their core ideas they
simply join the many others pouring out the mindless chatter that
everyone has learned to screen out.
Effective leaders take a different path. They donít wait to get clear
because they understand that wonít happen of itself. They work first
on their convictions, and then let the blizzard sort itself out.
So they donít struggle to get clarity from their environment, which
leads to further frustration and confusion. They only consider their
environment in the sense they draw upon their life experiences to
define the values and convictions upon which they will stand and lead.
But hereís the point. When they define and articulate their core
convictions, the blizzard and overwhelm largely disappears for them.
And they project the greatest quality a leader can have in attracting
and convincing followers Ė authenticity. When a leader stands on
his or her convictions, people know it. And for the leader and the
followers, those core convictions also mightily sort out whatís important
from the tsunami of distraction that wrecks the efforts of the
What brings a special authenticity to a leaderís conviction is the legacy
on which it is based, his or her life experiences. Those who seek to build
their conviction on the weaker foundations of organisation values and vision
find true authenticity a harder reach.
We see every day corporate and Government leaders with plenty of conviction.
These are too often men and women who learn the scripts and adopt the values
they see as important to climb and survive the executive ladder.
Can they speak with conviction? Absolutely. But it is a kind of collective
conviction that seems safe, predictable, somewhat boring, and a little
hollow. Staff, external and internal peers and other potential followers
of their ideas will often align with them, but rarely initiate action for
them. People are less likely to innovate or take risks in pursuing the
vision and strategies of such leaders.
On the other hand, leaders who project authenticity based on convictions
forged from the legacy of their life experiences are magnets for their
followers. People trust them and take extraordinary action for them.
These leaders change the way we see the world and we love them for it.
These leaders and their convictions create the future and leave others
wondering why their own ideas wither in comparison.
Effective leaders stand out because they have convictions they live by
even when they think no-one is looking. And this is the core of
authenticity that gives their ideas power and resonance beyond the words
used or the intrinsic quality of the ideas themselves.
Their reward is achieving their goals by communicating less and differently.
Less, because they are more trusted. Differently because they resonate with
more meaning to the people who count most Ė the followers they serve.
For leaders unwilling to develop this level of conviction and authenticity,
each year will become more difficult. For this kind of leader, gaining
attention and converting support now costs more money, takes more time and
is less certain than at any time in human history. And leaders who canít
earn support will disappear up an evolutionary dead end.
More next month...
Geoff Kelly works with leaders who are frustrated that others don't fully support their ideas and strategies. He mainly works with corporate leaders around the world, but also leaders in Government and Not for Profit. He is also a popular speaker on this and related subjects. See www.kellystrategicinfluence.com.au, email [email protected] or call +613 9678 9218 for more information
© 2009 - 2010 Geoff Kelly All rights reserved.
You are free to use material from the Leading Minds eZine in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. Please also notify me where the material will appear. The attribution should read: "By Geoff Kelly of Kelly Strategic Influence. Please visit Geoff's web site at www.kellystrategicinfluence.com.au for additional articles and resources on earning support for your ideas and strategies." (Make sure the link is live if placed in an eZine or in a web site.)